Gray's father was a scrivener while his mother and aunt kept a milliner's shop. He led a quiet, studious life in the main, training in law after his degree at Cambridge and then becoming a history done at Peterhouse.
Gray formed a friendship with Walpole which was broken off as a result of a disagreement during a "Grand Tour of Europe" (1734-39), though they were eventually reconciled in 1745. This friendship was important to Gray's literary career and Walpole later published The Progress of Poetry and The Bard, an impassioned summary of English history, on his Strawberry Hill Press. Gray sent his Ode on the Spring to an Etonian friend, Richard West, who died shortly afterwards, ... more »
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- Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard
- Sonnet on the Death of Mr Richard West
- Hymn to Adversity
- Ode On The Death Of A Favourite Cat Drow...
- Ode On The Spring
- On The Death Of A Favourite Cat, Drowned...
- Ode On A Distant Prospect Of Eton Colleg...
- The Bard
- The Fatal Sisters
- The Progress of Poesy
- On the Death of Richard West
- Ode On The Pleasure Arising From Vicissi...
- The Curse Upon Edward
Quotationsmore quotations »
''Far from the sun and summer-galeThomas Gray (1716-1771), British poet. The Progress of Poesy (l. 82-86). . . Gray's English Poems; Original and Translated from the Norse and the ...
In thy green lap was Nature's Darling laid,
What time, where lucid Avon stray'd,
To him the mighty mother did unveil
Her awful face:''
''Her track, where'er the Goddess roves,Thomas Gray (1716-1771), British poet. The Progress of Poesy (l. 62-64). . . Gray's English Poems; Original and Translated from the Norse and the ...
Glory pursue, and generous Shame,
Th' unconquerable Mind, and Freedom's holy flame.''
''Now the rich stream of Music winds alongThomas Gray (1716-1771), British poet. The Progress of Poesy (l. 7-8). . . Gray's English Poems; Original and Translated from the Norse and the We...
Deep, majestic, smooth, and strong,''
''Yet shall he mount, and keep his distant wayThomas Gray (1716-1771), British poet. The Progress of Poesy (l. 120-122). . . Gray's English Poems; Original and Translated from the Norse and th...
Beyond the limits of a vulgar fate:
Beneath the Good how farbut far above the Great.''
''O'er her warm cheek and rising bosom moveThomas Gray (1716-1771), British poet. repr. In Poetical Works, ed. J. Rogers (1953). The Progress of Poesy, pt. 1, sct. 3, l. 16-7 (written 1754, pub...
The bloom of young desire and purple light of love.''
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